I have a new title to add to my collection.
Chief Poop Inspector
You're all jealous of my glamorous life right now I can tell.
Emma and her quirky tummy are driving me to distraction. In an effort to get to the bottom of the problem we went to the GP today - which resulted in a horrific blood collection experience and the auspicious job of me being crowned Chief Poop Inspector (and Collector - but lets not go there) for the next 3 days. The pathology experience was horrible, humiliating and degrading. Emma was hysterical and trying to run away all the while screaming blue murder and the 'helpful' pathology collector was a cow who implied it might be a good idea for us never to darken her door again.
My biggest concern with Emma's tummy problems is that when you combine them with anxiety they make for a slippery slope. When Emma eats - her tummy hurts. So she doesn't eat - but that makes her tummy hurt too. So she keeps not eating. It's a very short ride from there to a type of eating disorder where the goal isn't to be thin it is to try and control anxiety and tummy symptoms. Emma has already lost weight and hasn't grown in ages making her an 18kg, 116cm almost 9 year old (which puts her completely off the growth charts).
In some ways it would be easy if she just outright tested positive for coeliac - then at least we would know where to start. My biggest fear is that this is all behavioural. She had such a meltdown at the pathology place this afternoon - and another one again in the shops. I don't know what to do with her. Is it me? Am I doing a bad job parenting her? Is it all my fault? Or is something wrong with her? If so, is it physical or emotional. One thing I do know is that we had none of this before Murray's brain injury. She has always been a bit highly strung - but nothing like this - she is completely falling apart at the moment.
Hopefully we will get some of her test results back in a week but I am really not expecting them to show anything. After that I want to try either the Failsafe Diet or an elimination diet of some sort with her to see if it helps her tummy as well as her behaviour. My friends who do the Failsafe diet with their kids say the behavioural improvements more than make up for any hassle in following the diet. I would love to hear more people's experiences so please leave a comment if you've tried it.
I feel like this afternoon marks Emma's official move from sibling status to special needs status - not in the same league as Ashlea - but definitely not like other kids her age.